3 con­victed of ri­ot­ing dur­ing Mong Kok un­rest

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By WILLA WU in Hong Kong willa@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

The District Court on Mon­day found three more peo­ple guilty of ri­ot­ing dur­ing the Mong Kok un­rest that erupted on the Chi­nese New Year day last year.

The three — Chris Yung Tsz-hin, 18, Law Ho-yin, 20 and Lin Yun-faat, 26 — were the sec­ond group of sus­pects con­victed of ri­ot­ing in re­la­tion to the vi­o­lent un­rest. They were re­manded in cus­tody pend­ing sen­tenc­ing.

Passing down his ver­dict, judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che said the scene at the riot was “rather shock­ing” as over a 100 peo­ple, some with masks on, threw bricks and hurled bam­boo sticks. Yiu de­scribed such be­hav­ior as “threat­en­ing” and “provoca­tive”, which with­out doubt sab­o­taged so­cial sta­bil­ity.

Yiu held that Yung and Law were the two who were filmed hold­ing glass bot­tles near the crowd in the riot, as the pair wore the same shirts, trousers and sneak­ers when they were caught.

Mean­while, Yiu said Lin was “un­doubt­edly” par­tic­i­pat­ing in the riot as Lin was cap­tured in video footage in which he was among the other protesters in a stand­off that night.

The court will hear mit­i­ga­tion sub­mis­sions on Aug 7 be­fore passing down sen­tences on the trio.

Ac­cord­ing to the Pub­lic Or­der Or­di­nance, ri­ot­ing car­ries a max­i­mum 10-year prison sen­tence. But the District Court is lim­ited to passing down a max­i­mum 7-year jail term.

Mem­bers of the first group — in­clud­ing two col­lege stu­dents and one cook — found guilty of ri­ot­ing were sen­tenced to three-year prison terms in March this year. In April, a 32-year-old tech­ni­cian Ye­ung Ka-lun was sen­tenced to a four-year-ninemonth jail term for ri­ot­ing and ar­son.

The court on Mon­day ac­quit­ted two — Leo Chan Siu-kwan and Sung Kwan-wo — who had each faced one count of ri­ot­ing.

The riot, which hit the pop­u­lar Hong Kong tourist spot of Mong Kok hours af­ter the Lu­nar New Year fes­tiv­i­ties be­gan, saw protesters throw bricks and set fire to pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties, leav­ing around 100 po­lice of­fi­cers and at least four re­porters in­jured.

The po­lice have so far ar­rested 90 peo­ple — 79 men and 11 women — in con­nec­tion with the riot. They face charges rang­ing from ri­ot­ing to ar­son and il­le­gal as­sem­bly to as­sault­ing and re­sist­ing po­lice of­fi­cers. To date, nine have been con­victed.

In April this year, Sec­re­tary for Jus­tice Rim­sky Yuen Kwok-ke­ung said one of the De­part­ment of Jus­tice’s ma­jor fo­cuses in the next year lay in fa­cil­i­tat­ing crim­i­nal prose­cu­tions re­lated to the Mong Kok riot and the il­le­gal “Oc­cupy Cen­tral” move­ment which took place in 2014.

The scene at the Mong Kok riot was rather shock­ing”. Frankie Yiu Fun-che, District Court judge

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